Tile View is a Firefox extension that applies a tiled layout to the content area so that multiple web sites can be viewed and browsed side by side. Tiles can be arranged horizontally, vertically or in a grid. Tiles can be re-sized by dragging splitter bars. Links can be dragged to open in other tiles. Scrolling of tiles can be synchronized.
The Firefox tabbed browser paradigm is fully maintained. Each tile operates as a tabbed browser, but with the toolbars and tabs common to all tiles. The tiled layout is achieved by presentational changes rather than functional changes. All features (menu commands, url bar, search bar, tabs buttons) continue to operate as normal.
Pre-defined layouts can be created and new tiles can be added above, left, right or below the currently selected tile. Tiles are arranged in groups, where all the tiles in a group have the same width or same height, and all the tiles in a group are separated by splitters all with the same orientation (horizontal or vertical).
Tiles are created using Menu Commands or Drag-and-Drop of tabs and links.
Tile View is based on the same 'tile and splitter' engine as the well established Tile Tabs add-on, but with a simpler user interface aimed at optimizing the browsing experience.
The main differences from Tile Tabs are that Tile View:
• has a simpler user interface with fewer menus, fewer menu items, and more focus on the tile layout as an entity.
• allows independent selection of the current tile and of the tab to be displayed in the current tile.
• requires the user to explicitly switch between tiled and normal views.
To get started, add the Tile View button to the toolbar and then click on the button icon to create a default layout.
See the Toolbar Button section below for details of how to add the button to the toolbar.
Tiles and Splitters
A tile is selected by clicking on the tile's contents. The currently selected tile is indicated by a colored border around the tile's contents.
The tab assigned to (displayed in) the currently selected tile can be changed by clicking on any of the tab buttons. The currently selected tab is indicated by a highlighted tab button (as normal). Each tab assigned to a tile is indicated by a small icon on the tab button.
A tile can be re-sized by dragging the adjacent splitter bars. Splitter bars will snap into position when near to the edge of a tile or another splitter bar. Double-click on any splitter to equalize the size of all tiles in that group.
There are six basic menu commands:
• New Layout - creates a new layout with 2, 3 or 4 tiles or using the default layout.
• Add Tile - adds a new tile above, left, right or below the currently selected tile.
• Remove Tile - removes the currently selected tile.
• Expand Tile - expands the currently selected tile and collapses the other tiles in that group.
• Close Layout - closes the the existing layout.
• Set as Default Layout - sets the current layout as the default layout.
These commands can be invoked from the Tile menu on the main menu bar or from the Tile View button menu on the toolbar. The Add Tile, Remove Tile and Expand Tile commands can also be invoked from the context menu after right-clicking on any tile's contents.
The New Layout command always assigns the currently selected tab to top-left tile in the layout. Otherwise, the New Layout and Add Tile commands automatically create and assign a new blank tab to each new tile. There are options to assign existing tabs to new tiles in preference to creating new tabs, and to load the homepage into new tabs.
The Close Layout and Remove Tile commands remove any automatically created tabs that have not been used (still either blank or showing the homepage).
The Expand Tile command can be used repeatedly on the same tile to alternately expand the tile horizontally and vertically, and when the tile is already fully expanded, to equalize the tiles of all enclosing groups.
There are two menu switches:
• View Tiled - shows the tiled layout view (instead of the normal browser view).
• Sync Scroll - synchronize horizontal and vertical scrolling within each group of tiles.
These switches can be toggled from the Tile menu on the main menu bar or from the Tile View button menu on the toolbar.
Sync Scroll allows easy comparison of two or more similar web pages. Any initial scrolling offset between the contents of the tiles in a group is maintained.
Function Key Shortcuts
There are four function key shortcuts:
• F2 - Expand Tile
• F8 - Sync Scroll
• F9 - View Tiled
• F12 - New Layout (Default Layout) or Close Layout - depending on whether a layout already exists
Splitter Menu Commands
There are three splitter menu commands, which allow tiling adjacent to an existing group of tiles:
• Add Tile - adds a new tile above, left, right or below the highlighted group.
• Equalize Group - equalizes the size of all tiles in the highlighted group.
These commands are invoked from the context menu after right-clicking on a horizontal or vertical splitter bar. The highlighted group of tiles is indicated by a dotted colored border around each of the tiles in the group.
The Tile View button can be added to the toolbar by right-clicking the toolbar, selecting Customize..., and dragging the button onto the toolbar.
The Tile View button can invoke a default action (by clicking on the icon) or display a drop-down menu (by clicking on the down arrow). The default action is to switch between the tiled view and the normal browser view. If there is no existing layout, the default action is to create a default layout.
Middle-clicking on the Tile View button icon either creates a default layout or closes the existing layout.
Drag a tab or link onto an existing tile's contents to open the tab's URL or link's URL in the existing tile. A link can be a hyperlink on a web page or a bookmark link or a history link. A new tab is not created.
Ctrl+Drag a tab or link onto an existing tile's contents to open the tab's URL or link's URL in a new tile above, left, right or below the existing tile. A label beside the cursor indicates the direction in which the new tile will be added when the tab or link is dropped. The direction is determined by the position of the cursor within the existing tile (e.g. if the cursor is near the top, then the new tile will be created above). A new tab is always created.
Start-up and Restart
Tile View can be configured to restore the layout from a previous session when Firefox starts-up or restarts. After a restart, it should always be possible to restore the layout. However, on start-up it is only possible to restore the layout if the tabs from the previous session have been saved, for example, if the Firefox option "When Firefox starts: Show my windows and tabs from last time" has been selected.
Tile View can also be configured to apply the default layout when Firefox starts-up or restarts. The default layout is not applied if restore is configured and possible.
The Options Dialog allows the user to:
• Change the color of the border around the currently selected tile.
• Change the width of the border around the currently selected tile.
• Syncronize scroll only when scrolling within the currently selected tile.
• Change the size of the splitters.
• Change the snap distance for splitters.
• Allow drag-and-drop of tabs onto tiles (instead of detaching).
• Show icons on tabs that are assigned to tiles.
• Assign existing tabs to tiles in preference to creating new tabs.
• Load home page into new tabs.
• Enable the function key shortcuts (F2,F8,F9,F12).
• Show the Tile menu on the main menu bar.
• Choose the menu items that are added to each tile's content context menu.
• Restore the layout from a previous session on start-up and after restart.
• Apply the default layout on start-up and after restart.
· Mozilla Firefox
What's New in This Release: [ read full changelog ]
· New: Drag options tab in Options dialog box.
· New: Option to change drag-and-drop tiling shortcut. Initial default is Ctrl+Drag.
· Chg: Renamed Drag-and-Drop Tabs onto Tiles option as Drag-and-Drop Tab as Link option.
· Chg: Updated to be compatible with Firefox 7.*